Asia Vegan Recipes

Sichuan dish-Chinese Mapo Tofu RECIPE

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VEGAN RECIPES-ASIA

Chinese Mapo Tofu Recipe

Introduction: Mapo Tofu is a beloved Sichuan dish that combines the richness of tofu with the bold flavors of chili bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns. It’s a spicy and flavorful dish that’s both comforting and exciting to the taste buds. This dish is known for its numbing and tingling sensation from the Sichuan peppercorns, which adds a unique dimension to the flavor profile. Serve this delicious Mapo Tofu over a bed of steamed rice for a satisfying and authentic Chinese meal.

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz (400g) soft tofu, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan chili bean paste (doubanjiang)
  • 1 teaspoon fermented black beans, rinsed and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 lb (225g) ground pork (optional, for non-vegetarian version)
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (slurry)
  • 2 green onions, chopped (green parts for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Steamed rice, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Tofu:
    • Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes and set aside. You can blanch the tofu in boiling water for a minute to firm it up slightly, but this step is optional.
  2. Prepare the Aromatics:
    • Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat.
    • Add minced garlic, ginger, and fermented black beans. Sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Add Chili Bean Paste and Ground Pork:
    • Stir in the Sichuan chili bean paste and ground pork (if using). Cook until the pork is browned and cooked through.
  4. Incorporate Flavors:
    • Sprinkle the ground Sichuan peppercorns over the mixture and stir well to combine.
  5. Add Broth and Tofu:
    • Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a gentle simmer.
    • Gently add the tofu cubes to the wok, being careful not to break them.
  6. Season and Thicken:
    • Add soy sauce and sugar to the mixture. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences.
    • Gently stir in the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
  7. Finishing Touches:
    • Drizzle sesame oil over the Mapo Tofu and stir to combine.
  8. Serve:
    • Transfer the Mapo Tofu to a serving dish. Garnish with chopped green onions (green parts) for color and freshness.
  9. Enjoy:
    • Serve the Mapo Tofu over steamed rice. Enjoy the explosion of flavors and the numbing sensation from the Sichuan peppercorns.

Tips:

  • Adjust the amount of chili bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns to control the level of spiciness and numbness in the dish.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the ground pork and use vegetable broth.
  • Be cautious when handling Sichuan peppercorns; they can be quite potent. You can lightly toast them in a dry pan before grinding to enhance their flavor.
  • Use silken or soft tofu for the best texture in this dish.
  • Have all your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking, as the process can be quite fast-paced.

Cooking Time:

  • Preparation: 15 minutes
  • Cooking: 20 minutes
  • Total: 35 minutes

Enjoy your homemade Chinese Mapo Tofu with its rich flavors, satisfying texture, and the captivating heat of Sichuan peppercorns!

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